Roger The Great's Tennis Spot

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

Unfortunately, it's been two parts great action, one part rain the past two days at Stade Roland Garros. After a few rain delays on Wednesday, the weather played havoc with the schedule today. Several matches, including those of Rafael Nadal, James Blake/Nicolas Almagro, and David Ferrer will be played or completed on Friday. But, let's not let that ruin some great tennis we've been fortunate to see the past couple days.

In the top half, the usual suspects have advanced. Roger Federer, David Nalbandian, Juan Carlos Ferrero, and Carlos Moya all advanced with relative ease. Add to this list Tomas Berdych and Mario Ancic who have both been in great clay form the past couple weeks.

Gaston Gaudio did not find things as easy, however. Seventeen year old Russian phenom Evgeny Korolev pushed the 2004 champ to five sets before finally succumbing.

Nicolas Kiefer was also pushed to five sets, needing to win 11 games in the fifth set to finally beat journeyman French player Marc Giquel. Not surprisingly, we were treated to usual Kiefer antics on court. If you'd like a poster child for poor sportsmanship, look no further than 'ol saint Nick.

Finally, Henmania at the French died as Henman lost to blog superstar Dmitry Tursunov. It's nice to see Tursunov get some press for his actions on the court.

The bottom half has a different flavor than the top half. The youngsters are the ones making the noise. Along with the expected easy passage into round three for Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic came out of nowhere to beat Fernando Gonzalez today in five sets. I would say this is definitely the biggest news of the tournament thus far. Gonzalez, the ninth seed, looked to be playing great tennis coming into this match and I thought he would be there with Nadal and Almagro in this section. Djokovic had other ideas as he made his biggest waves in a slam to this point. It certainly won't get easier for him however, with Tommy Haas and probably Nicolas Almagro as his next two potential opponents. Great win Nole.

The other youngster in the mix is Gael Monfils, who won his second consecutive five setter today. Great wins for the young Frenchman but this is probably where his road ends.

Tomorrow will see the completion of four bottom half matches along with third round play beginning in the top.

Some great matches are lined up on Friday. Hopefully you'll be near a TV or have the DVR ready to go.

Tomorrow I'll take Federer over Massu, Berdych over Kiefer, Ferrero over Gaudio, Davydenko over Moya, and Almagro completing his win over Blake.


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